Shivali Best — Daily Mail Sept 27, 2017
If you’re a big fan of the rapper, Eminem, there’s a chance you’re also a psychopath, according to a new study.
Researchers have found that people with psychopathic traits prefer listening to rap music.
While the findings are yet to be published, the researchers even go far as to suggest that rap songs could be used to help predict the disorder in the future.
Researchers from New York University looked at how people’s musical preferences correlate with their psychopathic tendencies.
And unlike Hannibal Lecter – a psychopath portrayed in the 1991 blockbuster, Silence of the Lambs – who had a fondness for classical music, it appears that psychopaths are more likely to prefer rap.
In the study, 200 people were played 260 songs and took tests to assess their psychopathic score.
The results showed that people with the highest psychopath scores were the biggest fans of rap songs, including No Diggity by Blackstreet, and Lose Yourself by Eminem.
In contrast, people with the lowest psychopath scores preferred pop songs, including The Knack’s My Sharona, and Sia’s Titanium
While the findings are yet to be published, the researchers now hope to launch a larger study to verify the results.
Speaking to The Guardian, Dr Pascal Wallisch, lead author of the study, said: ‘The media portrays psychopaths as axe murderers and serial killers, but the reality is they are not obvious; they are not like The Joker in Batman
‘They might be working right next to you, and they blend in.
‘They are like psychological dark matter.’
In the future, the researchers even go so far as to suggest that songs could be used to help predict the disorder.
Dr Wallisch added: ‘You don’t want to have these people in positions where they can cause a lot of harm.
‘We need a tool to identify them without their cooperation or consent.’
In their follow-up study, the researchers hope to identify whether groups of songs can predict potential psychopaths.
Dr Wallisch said that if this is the case, then playlists online could be used to spot psychopaths.
He added: ‘The beauty of this idea is you can use it as a screening test without consent, cooperation or maybe even the knowledge of the people involved.
‘The ethics of this are very hairy, but so is having a psychopath as a boss, and so is having a psychopath in any position of power.’
How To Spot a Psychopath
Psychopaths display different traits depending on their disorder.
Common signs include superficial charm, a grandiose notion of self-worth, the need for stimulation and impulsiveness, pathological lying, the ability to manipulate others and a lack of remorse and empathy.
But despite the popular association, not all psychopaths become killers.
Experts claim people usually find psychopaths intriguing, but can’t put their finger on why.
This is down to incongruous behaviour because psychopaths tend to do a lot of acting to deceive or mimic normal reactions, sometimes changing their views and reactions quickly.
For example, Self-professed psychopath Jacob Wells said that upon meeting someone, he tries to become ‘the most interesting person they know’ and presumably adopts suitable interests and responses to do this.
His response also gives away another common trait – a grandiose notion of self-worth – in that he can be the most interesting person in the room.
Psychopaths occasionally tend to exhibit unconvincing emotional responses, with slip-ups including tone of voice or body language.
This may be because they are unable to understand emotions such as fear and love, but can mimic them.
Generally psychopaths’ ’emotions’ are shallow and short-lived and there is a manipulative ulterior motive to showing them.
For example, Mr Wells said he offers to do favours and tells false secrets to people to gain their complete trust.
He also displays insincere charm – another trait associated with psychopaths.
He says: ‘I keep secrets and tell them fake secrets to further gain their trust, and once they trust me enough, I ask for favours, reminding them of the favours I did them. I can get literally anything from them, which is incredibly useful.’
Psychopaths typically display an incredible ability to manipulate others and sometimes take pleasure in doing so.
Psychopaths often have an air of superiority about them, perhaps shown by Mr Wells’ belief he can spot other psychopaths
Even expert Dr Hare, who came up with the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) used as a diagnostic tool to determine where someone lies on the psychopathy spectrum, warns that anyone can be duped during a short interaction with a psychopath.